Died in a Blogging Accident has lived up to its name and died... in a blogging accident. That is to say it has concluded. You can still re-live the magic by clicking here to start at chapter 1. For genuine criticism of XKCD, please click the top link to the right (XKCD Isn't Funny).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

1074: Forgetting to title your blog posts is always a good idea

Alt-text: Ok, so Spirit and Opportunity are pretty awesome. And Kepler. And New Horizons, Cassini, Spirit and Opportunity, Curiosity, TiME, and Project M. But c'mon, if the Earth were a basketball, in 40 years no human's been more than half an inch from the surface.

Stop me if you've heard this one before: Stick Figure #1 reads something on the internet and tells Stick Figure #2 about it. Stick Figure #2 comments on it with a you-wish-it-was snappy one-liner. Familiar? Gee, how could that be?

Remember when I said that Randall will never grow as an artist because he doesn't challenge himself? This is a classic sign of that. There are so many ways to make a comic about Something Someone Said On The Internet™, but he will hold on to the tired formula simply because it is easier than coming up with something new every time.

Not that the comic itself is much better on its own merits. All the usual flaws are here - walls of text with little to no action, post-punchline dialogue, you name it. I'd like to note that stick!Randall turns his chair around between panels 1 and 3, just so that he can be shown as facing Megan in the final panel. Apart from the obvious question of "Who does that?", this just shows why even stick figure comics need faces. So that they can look around without moving their whole body.

Some of you may be wondering why I said that the comic contains post-punchline dialogue. Isn't that "deorbited" line the punchline? Actually, no. I have to admit, I don't really get it (maybe because I'm not so well-versed in rocket science), but I get the feeling that even if I did, it still wouldn't be funny. No, the real punchline here is the first line in panel 3. On top of being geuinely funny (though that could be just because I'm a big fat jerk who likes to put everyone down), that line is what the strip is really about, as even the alt-text is building on it. Granted, the alt-text sucks, but the point still stands. I guess this comes to Randall trying hard to be funny and failing, and just being funny somewhere ese by accident.

So, yeah. This would be a great blog post material, but as a comic, it sucks.

Monday, June 25, 2012

1073: People who hate Mondays don't know how to use weekends

Alt-text: Of the two Garfields, you wouldn't think the cat would turn out to be the more compelling presidential speechwriter, but there you go.

Well, it's that time of the year again, when I finally have something to say about today's comic, although I'm going to address more the general xkcd suckiness than this particular one. You see, a lot of the strips lately have followed a similar formula, which was "stick figures take something far too stupid far too seriously" and they were all so bland and dumb for the same reasons, so there wasn't a lot to say about them individually. And that is one of the reasons why xkcd sucks (title drop WOOO): It doesn't evolve. While other webcomics change over time, and become better (or, in some cases, worse), Randall still draws the same shit over and over three times a week and somehow expects to be paid for it.

But back to that formula. Some of you may have noticed that it kinda resembles the formula the Monty Python's Flying Circus has used, and they are right... mostly, since that show would use the word "silly", not "stupid". What's the difference? Well, whereas the Monty Python troupe was inventive and imaginative in their choice of things to be serious about (to name just a few examples, the Ministry of Silly Walks, the Cheese Shop bit and, of course, the famous Dead Parrot sketch), Mr. Munroe is... not. Seriously, common snark and a cheesy pick up line?

Though I do have a couple things to say about today's comic as well. Some indication towards what kind of speech this is would be nice, and no, a throwaway line in the alt-text does not count. And, on the topic of the alt-text, only Randall would consider this speech "compelling", instead of what I presume would be the listeners' reaction, "I think an asylum somewhere is missing a patient".

I have complained about this before, but I think it bears repeating. After a few dozen reviews there is nothing new to comment on about xkcd. That is why people write these reviews, and it is also why people stop writing these reviews. We can only hope that this is because Randall's trying to make his webcomic as review-proof as possible, because the only alternative is so much worse.